Analysis M1500 Free: Gregorio Paltrinieri & Connor Jaeger Shuffle The All-Time Top 10s

Gregorio Paltrinieri (R) of Italy and Connor Jaeger of the USA raced together in heats and the final - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Analysis – men’s 1500m freestyle – the top two home, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) and Connor Jaeger (USA) produced sizzling performances that promoted both up the all-time rankings; Paltrinieri became the first Italian ever to win the crown; Jaeger is the first USA medallist for a decade; and 10 under 15minutes produced the swiftest qualification ever.

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Analysis – men’s 1500m freestyle – the top two home, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) and Connor Jaeger (USA) produced sizzling performances that promoted both up the all-time rankings; Paltrinieri became the first Italian ever to win the crown; Jaeger is the first USA medallist for a decade; and 10 under 15minutes produced the swiftest qualification ever.

Comments

bono81

What about Larsen Jensen, Montreal 2005?

Craig Lord

Indeed, bono81. Thanks for alert. For a decade…

Eugene

I’m not a fan of Italian’s technique. He seems to be really well prepared physically, but that stroke… Its potential is really limited and I’m not sure he is really capable of getting close to Sun Yang’s results swimming like that. Chinese’s strokes are so much more powerful and efficient, you could clearly see it when they were swimming together in 4 and 5 lanes. Looks like he’s warming up while Italian is working really hard to produce the same speed. Mix Sun’s efficiency and feel for the water with Paltrinieri’s stamina – and we will have first sub 14 minutes result or close. But for now SY is still the best distance swimmer in the world, with or without banned pills. And he seems to have a room for improvement.

Anyway, 14:39 is a new ER and it’s pretty solid despite of not too visually appealing technique.

Craig Lord

The best right now is the world champion, Gregorio Paltrinieri; the best all-time is the fastest clean swimmer without the shadow of banned substances, Eugene. In my view, Sun Yang is ruled out of contention by his choices and those closest to him treating a condition he is said to have, one that in Italy and elsewhere would have ruled him out of racing altogether for the sake of his own health. As for 14mins etc, you enter the realms of pure fantasy, as well you know. 2sec faster per 100m than Hackett, at a time when most have yet to crack 59sec per 100 laps (and you toy with the notion of 56sec laps :)))) Not in your lifetime.

Eugene

Well, I believe that SY’s freestyle technique is just the best among all the distance guys. And that’s the part which can hardly be enhanced by substances. No one else can go that fast with such a low tempo. Paltriniery has to do about 1.5 (!) times more strokes to cover the same distance in the same time. Of course, this doesn’t mean he spends 1.5 times more energy, but it’s evident that SY maintains the speed much more comfortably and this means – no chances for the rivals on the last 100 or 50.

14 minutes of course not going to be broken in the near future in real life. But if you take Italian’s stroke rate and add Chinese’s distance per stroke, that would be a killer performance.

Craig Lord

Yes, he has a fine technique; so did Heike Friedrich, Eugene — Petra Thumer was terrific, too… and the end result, regardless of the talent and technique, was enhanced and the GDR women thumped just about all the rest to oblivion for the best part of 20 years. In a world without serious doubt, technique is certainly a trump card, with you to that extent. In a world of serious doubt, it loses its appeal somewhat, for me, both as a writer and as a swimmer who knows the very big difference to technique, feeling, efficiency and speed swimming with flippers or without can make … feels great, looks much better – means I can keep going efficiently and with less fatigue for a lot longer … but it isn’t me, at least not me alone.

Eugene

>”as a swimmer who knows the very big difference to technique, feeling, efficiency and speed swimming with flippers or without can make … feels great, looks much better – means I can keep going efficiently and with less fatigue for a lot longer … but it isn’t me, at least not me alone.”

Yes. But I would agree if SY’s doping test revealed some other drug, more serious one than Trimetazidine. Have explained it few times already. Me too is not a complete stranger to swimming and I can be found in a pool every single day. Also, I had a treatment which contained this substance for a couple of months. I didn’t give up swimming for that period of time and there was no difference to my stroke and efficiency neither during the treatment nor afterwards. Can’t be even compared to steroids or fins or any other instant enhancer.

Craig Lord

Eugene, perhaps, in very different circumstances; but if what you suggest is the whole story, why would anyone involved have tried to hide the whole thing, why would WADA deadlines have been broken so blatantly, why would the swimmer and all around him failed so miserably to insist on full transparency. Against a wholly unacceptable set of circumstances and obfuscations, and from people who really ought to know much, much, much better (including some in FINA who were there throughout the whole 1990s crisis) given China’s history with swimming and doping, and given the stories about this substance having been a part of treatment for 6-7 years, during which time the swimmer concerned will have been putting in vast amounts of work (and without, apparently, the knowledge of some of his coaches that there was any trouble with heart that required Tri) way beyond what the likes of you and I and even many elite swimmers endure …. I say ‘serious doubt’. Sun Yang’s attitude and tired old ”nasty to China’ nonsense, his aggression in front of journalists in Kazan, all add up to a very sorry picture indeed, not just for self and China but for the sport of swimming. All exacerbated by a last day at world titles on which he felt too ill, because of his heart condition, to race a 1500m … this being a wholly unserious condition, as some suggest, I’d say something in the mix simply does not add up.

Eugene

I do not justify him and do not have too much sympathy to him as a person. I admire the efficiency of his stroke and find it the best in the field… and that’s all. Trying to hide the medication – wrong. Aggression – wrong. Driving without a licence – wrong, even though not related to swimming. He doesn’t seem to be a nice guy to me. But still he is the best long distance swimmer in my opinion, even considering his ban. Of course I may change my mind if some day it turns out that he did used heavier drugs.

Craig Lord

We find common ground, Eugene, no bad thing.

Craig Lord

Roy, that’s rubbish… people were stating facts… she was off the chart and it needed to be said. Looking back it becomes ever more clear that there was something deeply wrong. Nasty to china etc is tired old nonsense… we heard it time and time and time again in the 1990s… guess what, they were lying, we were right: massive abuse of under-age athletes.

Craig Lord

roy, your comments are confusing issues and avoid all the reasons why there is now serious doubt attached to Sun Yang; that was my point and I’m sure you understood that very well. I’m not interested in comparing types of substances, especially when used by anyone as some kind of excuse to say ‘well, not so bad’. He has a doping ban on his record: secret backdated to nothing ban, obfuscation galore; China sought to impose no ban at all; swimmer worked with banned coach at a major intl; etc etc… something was rotten at the core of it all.

Eugene

Roy, dolphin kicking is dangerous in long distance freestyle. You really don’t want to acidify (not sure if I used a correct word in English, but you got the point) your muscles early in 1500. Kicking hard is exhaustive action, and easy dolphin kick has very little advantage. So it’s ok to avoid it at all in a distance swim.

Craig Lord

Roy, KL’s 800 free WR in the Kazan final marked a 1.3% gain 15 to 18 year old … that is not off the chart… do your homework.
Ye Shiwen swam on average 4sec faster over 100m free coming home to a world record 400IM at the pace of 5 of the men in the men’s 400IM final. There is absolutely no comparison between the two things. Do your homework. Lots of men come home in 28 plus in distance free races… tons and tons of them. KL is lapping almost 1:02 in a 1500m, Greg paltrinieri is lapping just over 58.5… Your comparisons don’t add up; you refuse to see the aberration staring you in the face’ and it isn’t KL’s distance free times.
You have said all you have to say on the Ye Shiwen split, Roy. We know how you feel. Your point is made; your opinions and comparing apples and oranges on this one have nothing to do with the facts, starting with – coming home in 58.6 to a WR 400IM was a complete aberration in the sport, way off the chart, not at all comparable with KL, who is not swimming on average 4sec faster than her world-class peers per 100 as the best hunt down podium places at Olympic and world levels … nowhere near.

Yozhik

Roy, it’s long due to move on, but for some reason you are bringing up the same point again and again. That is
1. Ledecky is not human. You cautiously and maybe wisely aren’t insisting that she is a man, but at the same time you refuse to recognize her results as ones that can be achieved by female.
2. Ye Shiwen’s splits at Olympics race are out of any concern. The only arguments that you personally accept are either positive test done by certified anti-doping laboratory or Ye’s personal admission of guilt. Other indirect arguments have to be rejected without any consideration of their validity. Since nothing like this is going to happen you are using controversial Ye Shiwen’s case as a shield at any discussion whenever there is an opportunity to accuse opponents of being bias.
I am not sure what you thought about Janet Evans’ achievements at her time but following your logic she was definitely not a woman for 25 years. Her time at 800 still gives her silver in Kazan. But when many females began swimming regularly under 8:20 Janet lost her alien look and got back her female status. Doesn’t it look similar in Ledecky’s case?
If you analyze carefully Ledecky’s races you will immediately notice that strong finish at long distances is her signature. Her last 50 at long distance races are much stronger than at sprints. She does it plenty of times to make it an observable fact that has quite simple biological explanation and doesn’t require to be attributed to PED. Many people possess such ability at different degree. I will send email to Craig with charts that illustrate my point. If he finds it reasonable he may redirect them to you.
If Ye Shiwen gives us at least some hint that what she done in London is her biological signature it would be of much help to her and to us. It isn’t happening for some reason. So I am considering her race a beamonesque. Nothing like beamonesque can be said about Ledecky’s result. She and Bob have nothing in common. Was Beamon drugged? I didn’t exclude such explanation until he was joined by Powell. So it was at least some hint that it is humanly possible if it can happen more than once.

Yozhik

The deaf person cannot hear. Roy you are the person that trust your own instincts more than someone else’s arguments. So what is the reason to enter the discussion if you are not going to learn anything from it a priori? From the other hand it is not easy to learn from your arguments because you never provide your definition of what normal woman is and what deviation from this standard is allowed to be still considered a normal woman. You are making the situation even more confusing by using different scales of “normality” in Ye Shiwen’s and Ledecky’s cases. So you lost me completely. Sure you can move on with all this mess, but I am moving out. You don’t have any intention to hear and to consider someone else’s opinion. I have no desire and don’t see any purpose to change you. So good luck to you with what you firmly believe in.

Craig Lord

Roy , we established that a long time ago. The point is not that KL is normal for a woman… of course she isn’t … just as Wickham, Mart T, Evans, Gould, Egerszegi etc were not normal… they were extraordinary. That misses the point. No I don’t think Ye’s 400IM last 100m in 2012 fits the same category… not at all. It was a huge aberration, in the sport and personal to the swimmer. There have been other examples in history, Smith, GDR, CHN and others – and more often than not, it turned out there was indeed something very wrong. As Yozhik says, you appear to suffer from deliberate deafness… and you have a blind spot when to comes to a swim for which explanations do indeed lean towards the negative, for entirely clear reasons.

Craig Lord

Roy, stop this nonsense: 4:28 is a 400IM time that many teenage boys do; and 15:25 is also a time that many teenage boys do over 1500 … not that that is relevant to the argument. Democracy does indeed entitle people to hold opinions and state them as facts when they are nothing remotely like a fact. Not a single thing you have written copes with a 4sec gain on peers over 100m at WR pace at the end of an Olympic 400IM final. That was off the chart and a huge aberration. Fact.

ThereaLuigi

Roy, once and for all come out and say it loud: do you believe KL is not a woman?

Craig Lord

We can and must move on, Roy, and as editor, I have the last say: you continue to compare apples and pears… your comparisons don’t work – you fail to note several significant factors, including suits and the personal progress and charts of the individual athletes and the specifics of why one swim is a problem (hugely so) and the other is not. Your opinion is not of concern; your basing that opinion on false interpretation of facts is.

Craig Lord

ThereaLuigi – thanks for your question… bur Roy will doubtless wish to resist the answer that would be based on no knowledge and would constitute libel. Thank you

Craig Lord

Indeed, last word, Roy 🙂

Craig Lord

Neither statement do it for me, Roy

ThereaLuigi

See, Roy, that is the very point: you keep saying that to you KL is not normal “for a woman”. Why would you need to add those words? You could say that her performances are not normal or abnormal or above the norm, period. If all you want to say is that her times would look more average is she was a male swimmer, well, that is so utterly obvious that it’s hard to believe someone would feel the need to point it out. Anyway, good to know that you nurture no doubts whatsoever on Miss Ledecky’s gender. Your so-called “arguments” boil down to her being better than anyone else – not much in the way of sound opinion, if you ask me. But it’s a free world.

Ger

All references that I know of in relation to Ledecky swimming like a man/boy are related to her stroke; how she swims freestyle. Nicole Livingston said she swims like a boy when interviewing her during Pan Pacs, Mark Foster made reference to her stroke recently in a similar way. Phelps made a similar comment about her,”long, loping stroke,” comparing it to a guy.
Interestingly, Yuri Suguiyama who coached Ledecky as a ten year old up until her Olympic success, was greatly influenced by watching Phelps in 2008 and it is Phelps upon whom her stroke is modeled.
For anyone interested, here is Suguiyama’s presentation from 2012 on coaching Ledecky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8CnERV-CpE

Craig Lord

Ger and others, I think the reference to swimming like a man is total nonsense. She swims like Katie Ledecky – and that is very efficient and carries a specific profile (more on that at some stage). The efficiency may well be down to good coaching in part but the feel for water required for what she is doing suggests a high level of water intuitiveness. That is the kind of thing she will not have learned by being told ‘swim like Michael Phelps’… no-one swims like Michael Phelps because he is unique, just as others, like Ledecky are unique. Angles of buoyancy can be honed through feeling and understanding but also reflect the natural predisposition of a swimmer to swimming; part of the picture of what makes each swimmer unique in the way a thumbprint makes us all unique. Ledecky makes her own print in the water – and I don’t think it helpful or accurate to liken that print to that of ‘a man’. The imagery and connotation of that huge generalisation (as we know, men swim very differently within their gender) simply doesn’t work for me.

ThereaLuigi

To me the most notable feature of Ledecky’s technique is the tempo in her 400 and 800 races. There is no hyperextension of the arm in front (I would say “gliding”, but as we all know elite swimmers don’t glide). She goes into the catch immediately. That is the way you swim shorter races, such as 100 and 200. Nobody does it but her, and that includes male swimmers.

Yozhik

Being totally agree with what Craig said, I have to note nevertheless that some differences do exist. They should exist because of difference in body shape, different muscle proportions and different biomechanics. Same way like one can distinguish between woman and man handwriting I can say with high accuracy who is racing in the pool when looking from the distance at high school or college swimming meet. For some reason such differences are not that obvious at professional level and I have to check if swimmers are topless to make a sure conclusion 🙂

Yozhik

Analyzing Ledecky’s technique, especially watching underwater footage I am finding out nothing that tells me that I’m watching boy’s swimming. Maybe her intensity and competitiveness reminds me more boys meets than girls ones. So whoever does such comparison please be more specific with details. And if you find some similarity show it in numbers. Otherwise, don’t make such an analogy because if it is not supported by facts it smells bad.

Yozhik

The best illustration to Craig’s post is 200m free final. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x30hfd2_women-s-200m-freestyle-final-swimming-world-championships-kazan-2015_sport. Can anybody tell that there is a boy swimming in some lane? And look how different and recognizable are styles from Heemskerk from Pelligrini, from Ledecky, from Hosszu.
The most similarity in style (or to say better the impression from the style) I see between Allison Schmitt and Sun Yong. Such an effortless long stroke speed. A little bit uneven on different hands for Allison. Did she also swim like a boy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3YgUGhMTB4

h2tk

Your reader Roy is ridiculous:

“Ye shiwen doesn’t swim at the speed of teenage boys while ledecky does.”

Actually, Ye Shiwen’s swim in the last 100Fr of her 2012 WR 400IM she swam, not at the speed of teenage boys, but the speed of Phelps and Lochte. FACT.

And surprise, surprise, she has never done it since. Suspicious? Absolutely!

I with Craig on this one.

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